I was once a Backchannel Bouncer

The Backchannel Bouncer

I learned a new-to-me term today: Backchanneling. I find it interesting because the concept is absolutely nothing new to me. When I worked for Distributed Learning Technologies at Chico State, any assistant that was worth their weight automatically performed the duty of a backchannel bouncer. It came to be because the classroom-versus-online interactions were too unwieldy to manage otherwise. With the assistant, or a "backchannel bouncer", the teacher could present the material while in-class students could ask questions alongside the online students asking, posting, contributing, and fact-checking in the chat area of the HorizonWimba (now Wimba) screen. If you don't have somebody backchannel bouncing, you're either wasting time combing the chats or your ignoring your online audience. A presenter between worlds cannot do it all. It really nice to see that this role is (finally) being taken seriously during online conferences and presentations.